Lucent Pushes Convergence Techs with Sun

The two companies announce a new partnership aimed at simplifying the manner in which business subscribers gain access to converged landline and wireless services.

Networking gear maker Lucent Technologies and Sun Microsystems announced a new partnership through which the firms said they will develop technologies meant to reduce complexity for business customers of converged wireless and landline communications services.

Introduced at the ongoing CTIA Wireless 2006 convention in Las Vegas, the companies said they will specifically address mobile applications management demands, including the creation of standards-based identity federation and user-controlled data sharing tools for users.

The technologies are aimed at fostering simplified access to converged services whether they are based on the Web, mobile telephony networks and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) architectures, the companies said.

The partnership with Sun is one of three efforts Lucent is announcing that are targeted at helping carriers provide one-stop, rapid, secure access to multiple communications services.

The two other initiatives revolve around Lucents Bell Labs research and development work in the area of convergence, and the companys participation in a new industry standards effort for single sign-on with mobile phones and other telephony applications.

Lucent and Sun said they are specifically working on the identity federation guideline forwarded by the Liberty Alliance Project, of which they are both members.

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Among the technologies the firms are showing off at the conference, related to the joint effort, are Lucents data integration middleware and data server platform supporting the HLR (Home Location Register), HSS (Home Subscriber Server) and AAA (Authentication, Authorization and Accounting) functions; and Suns Java System Federation Manager Java and Java ME products.

Lucent also announced at the show that it has signed on for a new industry standards effort that will promote the use of SIM card technology in mobile phones, along with the Liberty Alliance single sign-on guideline for providing mobile authentication for Web services and transactional systems.

A new survey published by Lucent contends that many U.S. businesses intend to deploy converged voice services in their organizations in the next several years.

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Of the 1,862 IT executives interviewed by Lucent, 96 percent of respondents said that they are currently using, or planning to employ converged communications services, to an average of roughly 50 percent of the employees at their companies.

The research identified Wireless LANs as one of the technologies being considered most frequently for adoption over the next 12 months, along with VOIP (voice over IP), with a high percentage of those WLANs launched as voice capable.

That finding indicates a readiness for converged voice solutions among users, Lucent said.

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